The Henderson Silver Knights open their 2021-22 American Hockey League season later today. But the team made plenty of news off the ice Friday.
Coach Manny Viveiros will not coach the Silver Knights tonight against Colorado at Orleans Arena in the team’s season opener. The team released a one-paragraph statement on Viveiros early Friday afternoon, saying:
“Henderson Silver Knights Head Coach Manny Viveiros will be taking a non-COVID medical leave of absence from the team. Assistant Coach Jamie Heward will assume the lead role in the interim alongside Joel Ward, Fred Brathwaite and Andrew Doty. We will provide additional updates when appropriate.”
There was no indication prior to Friday’s announcement that Viveiros would not be coaching the team in its opener. He was behind the bench for the Silver Knights’ three preseason games and on the ice for the team’s entire training camp at Lifeguard Arena. Viveiros is in his second season as Henderson’s head coach.
The other news involved the re-assignment of forwards Peyton Krebs, Jake Leschyshyn and Jonas Rondbjerg to the Silver Knights after the trio played together for the Golden Knights in Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
With the Golden Knights not schedule to play again until next Wednesday vs. St. Louis at T-Mobile Arena, it made sense to send the three players down to Henderson and allow them to stay in game shape while the Golden Knights try and figure out what their roster will look like next week. All three are waiver exempt.
Rondbjerg spoke to the media after the Silver Knights’ morning skate and said his NHL debut experience was cool but he wished for a better outcome for the team.
“It was kinda of a tough game,” said Rondbjerg, who will be in the Silver Knights lineup. We didn’t play well. But it was a cool experience. So we’ll see what happens now.
“I’m looking forward to playing again in front of our fans and I love playing in the Orleans Arena. I’m looking forward to having that building rocking tonight.”
Rondbjerg said he won’t change his game now that he’s back in the AHL.
“I’m going to keep playing my game and try to work on the things I need to in order to improve,” he said. “I had a great summer, I’m 100% ready to go.”